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the observation we have made of it bath not been read; for so much as I have perused, I find is littlc: he always loved our sister most; and with not fit for your over-looking. what poor judgment he hath now cast her off, Glo. Give me the letter, sir. appears too grossly.
Edm. I shall offend, either to detain or give it Reg. 'Tis the infirmity of his age: yet he hath The contents, as in part I understand them, are ever but slenderly knowu bimself.
to blame. Gon. The best and soundest of his time bath Glo. Let's see, let's see. been but rash ; then must we look to receive from Edm. I hope, for my brother's justification, he his age, not alone the imperfections of long-en- wrote this but as an essay or taste of my virtue. grafted condition, but, therewitbal, the unruly the world bitter, to the best of our times; keeps our for
Glo. [reads.] This policy, and reverence of age, makes waywardness that infirm and choleric years brings tunes from us, till our oldness cannot relish'
them. I begin with them.
to find an idle and fond bondage in the oppression of aged
tyranny ; who sways, not as it hath power, but as it is suf. Reg. Such unconstant starts are we like to fered. Come to me, that of this I may speak more. I have from him, as this of Kent's banishment. our father would sleep till I waked him, you should enjoy
half his revenue for ever, and live the beloved of your Gon. There is further compliment of leave
EDGAR taking between France and him.
Pray you, let Humph—Conspiracy ! - Sleep till I waked him,us hit together; if our father carry authority you should enjoy half his revenue,–
-My son Edgar! with such dispositions as he bears, this last Had he a hand to write this? a heart and brain surrender of his will but offend us.
to breed it in ?— When came this to you? Who Reg. We shall further think of it.
brought it? Gon. We must do something, and i'the heat. Edm. It was not brought me, my lord, there's
[exeunt. the cunning of it; I found it thrown in at the SCENE II. A HALL IN THE EARL OF GLOSTER'S
casement of my closet.
Gly. You know the character to be your Enter Edmund, with a letter.
brother's ? Edm. Thou, nature, art my goddess; to thy law Edm. If the matter were good, my lord, I durst My services are bound : Wherefore should I
swear it were his; but, in respect of that, I would Stand in the plague of custom ; and permit fain think it were pot. The curiosity of nations to deprive me,
Glo. It is his. For that I am some twelve or fourteen moon-shines
Edm. It is his hand, my lord; but, I hope, his Lag of a brother? why bastard ? wherefore base? heart is not in the contents
. When my dimensions are as well compact,
Glo. Hath he never heretofore sounded you My mind as generous, and my shape as true, in this business? As honest madam's issue? Why brand they us Edm. Never, my lord! But I have often heard With base ? with baseness ? bastardy ? base, base? him maintain it to be fit, that, sons at perfect age, Who, in the lusty stealth of nature, take
and fathers declining, the father should be as ward More composition and fierce quality,
to the son, and the son manage his revenue. Than doth, within a dull, stale, tired bed,
Glo. O villain, villain !-His very opinion in Go to the creating a whole tribe of fops,
the letter !-Abhorred villain! Unnatural, detestGot 'tween asleep and wake?— Well then, ed, brutish villain! worse than brutish!— Go, Legitimate Edgar, I must have your land: sirrah, seek him ; I'll apprehend him:- Abomi. Our father's love is to the bastard Edmund, nable villain !- Where is he? As to the legitimate: fine word,-- legitimate! Edm. I do not well know, my lord. If it shall Well, my legitimate, if this letter speed,
please you to suspend your indignation against And my invention thrive, Edmund the base
my brother, till you can derive from him better Shall top the legitimate. I grow; I prosper :- testimony of his intent, you shall run a certain Now, gods, stand up for bastards !
course; where, if you violently proceed aguinst Enter Gloster.
him, mistaking his purpose, it would make a great Glo. Kent banish'd thus ! and Franco in choler gap in your own honour, and shake in pieces the parted!
heart of his obedience. I dare pawn down my And the king gone to night! subscrib'd his power! life for him, that he hath writ this to feel my Confind to exhibition! All this done
affection to your honour, and to no other pretence Upon the gad !-Edmund! how now? what news? of danger. Edın. So please your lordship, none.
Glo. Think you so ? (putting up the letter.
Edm. If your honour judge it meet, I will place Glo. Why so earnestly seek you to put up that you where you shall hear us confer of this, and Edm. I know I news, my lord. (letter. by an auricular assurance have your satisfaction; Glo. What paper were you reading ?
and that without any further delay than this very Edm. Nothing, my lord.
evening. Glo. No? What needed then that 'terrible
Glo. He cannot be such a monster. despatch of it into your pocket? the quality of Edm. Nor he not, sure? nothing hath not such need to bide itself. Let's
Glo. To his father, that so tenderly and entirely see: Come, if it be nothing, I shall not need loves him.--Heaven and earth!- Edmund, seek spectacles.
him out; wind me into him, I pray you : frame Edm. I beseech you, sir, pardon me: it is a the business after your own wisdom: I would lotter from my brother, that I have not all o'er- uustate myself, to be in a due resolution.
his rage goes
Edm. I will seek him, sir, presently; convey presence, till some little time hath qualified the tho business as I shall find means, and acquaint heat of his displeasure ; which at this instant so
rageth in him, that with the mischief of your Glo. These late eclipses in the sun and moon person it would scarcely allay. portend no good to us : Though the wisdom of Edg. Some villain bath done me wrong. nature can reason it thus and thus, yet nature Edm. That's my fear. I pray you, have a confinds itself scourged by the sequent effects : love tinent forbearance, till the speed cools, friendship falls off, brothers divide : in cities, slower; and, as I say, retire with me to my mutinies; in countries, discord : in palaces, trea- lodging, from whence I will fitly bring you to . son: and the bond cracked between son and father. hear my lord speak; Pray you, go ; there's my This villain of mine comes under the prediction; key :- If you do stir abroad, go armed. there's son against father : the king falls from Edg. Armed, brother? bias of nature; there's father against child. We Edm. Brother, I advise you to the best: go have seen the best of our time: Machinations, armed; I am ne honest man, if there be any good hollowness, treachery, and all ruinous disorders, meaning towards you : I have told you what I follow us disquietly to our graves — Find out have seen and heard, but faintly; nothing like this villain, Edmund, it shall lose thee nothing; the image and horror of it: Pray you, away. do it carefully :-And the noble and true-hearted Edg. Shall I hear from you anon? Kent banished! his offence, honesty !--Strange, Edm. I do serve you in this business. — strange! [erit.
[erit Edgar. Edm. This is the excellent foppery of the world! A credulous father, and a brother noble, that, when we are sick in fortune (often the sur- Whose nature is so far from doing harms, fcit of our own behaviour), we make guilty of That he suspects none; on whose foolish honesty our disasters, the sun, the moon, and the stars : My practices ride easy !-I see the business.as if we were villains by necessity; fools, by Let me, if not by birth, have lands by wit : heavenly compulsion; knaves, thieves, and treach- All with me's meet, that I can fashion fit. [erit. ers, by spherical predominance; drunkards, liars, SCENE II. A ROOM IN TIIE DUKE OF ALBANY' and adulterers, by an enforced obedience of planetary influence; and all that we are evil in, by a
Enter Goneril and Steward. divine thrusting on: An admirable evasion of Gon. Did my father strike my gentleman for whore-master man, to lay his goatish disposition chiding of his fool ? to the charge of a star! My father compounded Stew. Ay, madam.
[hour with my mother under the dragon's tail ; and my Gon. By day and night! he wrongs me; every nativity was under ursa major; so that it follows, He flashes into one gross crime or other, I am rough lecherous.—Tut, I should have been That sets us all at odds : I'll not endure it: that I am, bad the maidenliest star in the firma- His knights grow riotous, and himself upbraids us ment twinkled on my bastardizing. Edgar-- On every tritle :—When he returns from hunting, Enter Edgar.
I will not speak with him ; say, I am sick:and pat he comes, like the catastrophe of the wld | If you come slack of former services, comedy : My cue is villainous melancholy, with | You shall do well; the fault of it I'll answer. a sigh like Tom o'Bedlam.-0, these eclipses do Stcw. He's coming, madam ; I hear him. (horns. portend these divisions ! fa, sol, la, mi.
Gon. Put on what weary negligence you please, Edg. How now, brother Edmund ? What You and your fellows; I'd have it come to question: serious contemplation are you in?
If he dislike it, let him to my sister, Edm. I am thinking, brother, of a prediction I Whose mind and mine, I know, in that are one, read this other day, what should follow these Not to be over-rul'd.
Idle old man, eclipses.
That still would manage those authorities
Edm. I promise you, the effects he writes of, Old fools are babes again; and must be us'd succeed uuhappily: as, of unnaturalness between With checks, as flatteries,— when they are seen the child and the parent; death, dearth, dissola- Remember what I have said.
[abus'd. tions of antient amities; divisions in state, menaces Stow. Very well, madam. and maledictions against king and nobles; needless Gon. And let his knights have colder looks diffidences, banishment of friends, dissipation of
among you; cohorts, nuptial breaches, and I know not what. What grows of it, no matter ; advise your fellows Edg. How long have you been a sectary
would brecd from hence occasions, and I shall, astronomical ?
That I may speak :-—I'll write straight to my
Enter Kent, disguised. no displeasure in him, by word, or countenance ? Kent. If but as well I other accents borrow Edg. None at all.
That can my speech diffusc, my good intent Edu. Bethink yourself, wherein you may have May carry through itself to that full issue [Kent, ofended him: and at my entreaty, forbear his For which I raz'd my likeness.- Now, banish'd
SCENE IV.-A HALL IN THE SAME.
If thou canst serve where thou dost stand con- Knight. I beseech you, pardon me, my lord, if demn'd,
I be mistaken; for my duty cannot be silent, (So may it come!) thy master, whom thou lov'st, when I think your highness is wrongcd. Shall find thee full of labours. (horns within Lear. Thou but rememberest me of mine own
Enter Lear, Knights, and Attendants. conception : I have perceived a most faint neglect Lear. Let me not stay a jot for dinner; gn, get of late : which I have rather blamed as mine own it ready. Cerit an Attendant.] How now, what jealous curiosity, than as a very pretence and pur art thou?
pose of unkindness. I will look further into it.Kent. A man, sir.
But where's my fool? I have not seen him this Lear. What dost thou profess? What would'st two days. thou with us?
Knight. Since my young lady's going into Kent. I do profess to be no less than I seem; France, sir, the fool hath much pined away. to serve him truly, that will put me in trust; to Leur. No more of that; I have noted it well. love him, that is honest; to converse with him, Go you, and tell my daughter I would speak with that is wise, and says little ; to fear judgment; to her. Go you, call hither my fool.fight, when I cannot choose; and to eat no fish.
Re-enter Steward. Lear. What art thou?
O, you sir, you sir, come you hither; Who am I, Kent. A very honest-hearted fellow, and as poor sir ? as the king.
Stew. My laily's father. Lear. If thou be as poor for a subject, as he is Lear. My lady's father! my lord's knave: you for a king, thou art poor enough. What wouldest whoreson dog! you slave! you cur ! thou?
Stew. I am none of this, my lord; I beseech Kent. Service.
you, pardon me. Lear. Who wouldest thou serve
Lear. Do you bandy looks with me, you rascal? Kent. You.
[striking him. Lear. Dost thou know me, fellow?
Stew. I'll not be struck, my lord. Kent. No, sir; but you have that in your coun- Kent. Nor tripped neither; you base foot-ball tenance, which I would fain call master.
(tripping up his heels. Lear. What's that?
Lear. I thank thee, fellow; thou servest me, Kent. Authority.
and I'H love thee. Lear. What services canst thou do?
Kent. Come, sir, arise, away: I'll teach you Kent. I can keep honest counsel, ride, run, mar differences; away, away: If you will measure à curious tale in telling it, and deliver a plain your lubber's length again, tarry: but away: go message bluntly: tbat which ordinary men are to; have you wisdom? so. fit for, I am qualified in; and the best of me is
(pushes the Steward out. diligence.
Lear. Now, my friendly-knave, I thank thee: Lear. How old art thou?
there's earnest of thy service. (giving Kent money. Kent. Not so young, sir, to love a woman for
Enter Fool. singing ; nor so old, to dote on her for any thing: Fool. Let me hire him too. -Here's my corI have years on my back forty-eight.
[giving Kent his cap. Lear. Follow me; thou shalt serve me: If I Lear. How now, my pretty knave? how dost like thee no worse after dinner, I will not part thou ? from thee yet. -— Dinner, ho, dinner.- Where's Fool. Sirrah, you were best take my
coxcomb. my knave? my fool ? Go you, and call my fool Kent. Why, fool ? bither.
Fool. Why? For taking one's part that is out Enter Steward.
of favour: Nay, an thou canst not smile as the You, you, sirrah, where's my daughter?
wind sits, thou'lt catch cold shortly: There, tako Stero. So please you,
[ezit my coxcomb : Why, this fellow has banished two Lear. What says the fellow there? Call the of his daughters, and did the third a blessing clotpoll back.- Where's my fuol, ho?-I think against his will; if thou follow him, thou must the world's asleep.—How now? where's that needs wear my coxcomb.—How now, nuncle? mongrel ?
Would I had two coxcombs, and two daughters! Knight. He says, my lord, your daughter is not Lear. Why, my boy? well.
Fool. If I gave them all my living, Pd keep Lear. Why came not the slave back to me, my coxcombs myself: there's mine, beg another when I called him ?
of thy daughters. Knight. Sir, he answered me in the roundest Lear. Take heed, sirrah, the whip. manner, he would not.
Fool. Truth's a dog that must to kennel; he Lear. He would not !"
must be whipped out, when Lady, the brach, inay • Knight. My lord, I know not what the matter stand by the fire and stink. is; but, to my judgment, your bighness is not en- Lear. A pestilent gall to me! tertained with that ceremonious affection as you Fool. Sirrah, I'll teach thee a speech. were wont: there's a great abatement of kindness Lear. Do. oppturs, as well in the general dependants, as in Fool. Mark it, nuncle :the duke bimself also, and your daughter.
Have more than thou showeste Lear. Ha! sayest thou so?
Speak less than thou knowest,
Lend less than thou owest,
times, I am whipped for holding my perce. I Ride more than thou goest,
had rather be any kind of thing than a fooi: and Leal'n more than thou trowest,
yet I would not be thee, nuncle; thou hast pared Set less than thou throwest;
thy wit o'both sides, and left nothing in the mid-
Lear. How now, daughter? what makes that
frontlet on? Metbinks, you are too much of late Lear. This is nothing, fool.
i'the frown. Fool. Then 'tis like the breath of an unfee'd Fool. Thou wast a pretty fellow, when thou lawyer; you gave me nothing fort: can you make hadst no need to care for her frowning; now thou su use of nothing, nuncle ?
art an O without a figure: I am better than thou Lear. Why, no, boy; nothing can be made out
I am a fool, thou art nothing.-- Yes, of nothing.
forsooth, I will hold my tongue; so your face [to Fool. Pr’ythee, tell him, so much the rent of Goneril] bids me, though you say nothing. Mum, his land comes to: he will not believe a fool. mum,
He that keeps nor crust nor crum, Lear. A bitter fool!
Wcary of all, shall want some. Fool. Dost thou know the difference, my boy, That's a sheal'd peascod. [pointing to Lear. between a bitter fool, and a sweet fool ?
Gon. Not only, sir, this your all-licens'd fool, Lear. No, lad ; teach me.
But other of your insolent retinue, Fool. That lord, that counsell'd thee
Do hourly carp and quarrel ; breaking forth
In rank and not-to-be-endured riots. Sir,
I had thought, by makingthis well known unto you,
To have found a safe redress; but now grow fearful, The sweet and bitter fool
By what yourself too late have spoke and done,
That you protect this course, and put it on
By your allowance; which if you should, the fault
Would not 'scape censure, nor the redresses sleep; Lear. Dost thou call me fool, boy?
Which, in the tender of a wholesome weal, Fool. All thy other titles thou hast given away; Might in their working do you that offence, that thou wast born with.
Which else were shame, that then necessity Kent. This is not altogether fool, my lord. Wil call discreet proceeding,
Fool. No, 'faith, lords and great men will not Fool. For you trow, nuncle, let me; if I had a monopoly out, they would have The hedge-sparrow fed the cuckoo so long, part on't: and ladies too, they will not let me That it had its head bit off by its young. have all fool to myself; they'll be snatching.-- So, out went the candle, and we were left darkGive me an egg, nuncle, and I'll give thee two Lear. Are you our daughter ?
Gon. Come, sir, I would, you would make Lear. What two crowns shall they be? use of that good wisdom whereof I know you are
Fool. Why, after I have cut the egg i’the mid- fraught; and put away these dispositions, which dle, and eat up the meat, the two crowns of the of late transform you from what you rightly are. egg.
When thou clovest thy crown i'the middle, Fool. May not an ass know when the cart draws and gavest away both parts, thou borest thine ass the horse ? - Whoop, Jug! I love thee. on thy back over the dirt : thou had’st little wit Lear. Does any here know me ?- Why this is in thy bald crown, when thou gavest thy golden not Lear : does Lear walk thas? speak thus? one away. If I speak like myself in this, let him Where are his eyes? Either his notion weakenis, be whipped that first finds it so.
or his discernings are lethargied.-Sleeping or Fools had ne'er less grace in a year ; [singing waking ?-Ha! sure 'tis not s0,-Who is it that
For wise men are grown foppish;
can tell me who I am ?—Lear's shadow? I would Their manners are so apish.
learn that; for by the marks of sovereignty, knowLear. When were you wont to be so full of ledge, and reason, I should be false persuaded I songs, sirrah ?
had daughters.Fool. I have used It, nuncle, ever since thou Fool. Which they will make an obedient father madest thy daughters thy mother : for when thou Lear. Your vame, fair gentlewoman? gavest them the rod, and put'st down thine own Gon. Come, sir ; breeches,
This admiration is much o'the favour
To understand my purposes aright:
As you are old and reverend, you should be wise Priythee, nuncle, keep a schoolmaster that can Here do you keep a hundred knights and squires; teach thy fool to lie; I would fain learn to lie. Men so disorder'd, so debauched, and bold,
Lear. If you lie, sirrah, we'll have you whipped. That this our court infected with their manners,
Fool. I parvel what kin thou and thy daugh- Shows like a riotous inn; epicurism and lust ters are: they'll have me whipped for speaking | Make it more like a tavern or a brothel, tuo, thou'lt have me whipped forlying; and, soinc- Than a grac'd palace. The sbame itself doth speaks
you come ?
For instant remedy: Be then desir'd
The untented woundings of a father's curse By her, that else will take the thing she begs, Pierce every sense about thee !-- Old fond eyes, A little to disquantity your train;
Beweep this cause again, I'll pluck you out; And the remainder, that shall still depend, And cast you, with the waters that you lose, To be such men as may besort your age,
To temper clay.-Ha! is come to this? And know themselves and you.
Let it be so :-Yet have I left a daughter, Lear. Darkness and devils !-
Who, I am sure, is kind and comfortable; Saddle my horses ; call my train together.- When she shall hear this of thee, with her nails Degenerate bastard ! I'll not trouble thee : She'll flay thy wolfish visage. Thou shalt find, Yet have I left a daughter.
That I'll resume the shape which thou dost think Gon. You strike my people; and your disor- I have cast off for ever: thou shalt, I warrant Make servants of their betters. [der'd rabble
thee. [ereunt Lear, Kent, & Attendants. Enter Albany.
Gon. Do you mark that, my lord ? Lear. Woe, that too late repents,—0, sir, are Alb. I cannot be so partial, Goneril,
(my horses. To the great love I bear you,Is it your will ? (10 Albany] Speak, sir. - Prepare Gon. Pray you, content.-- What, Oswald, ho!Ingratitude ! thou marble-hearted fiend,
You, sir, more knave than fool, after your master. More bideous, when thou show'st thee in a child, Fool. Nuncle Lear, nuncle Lear, tarry, and Than the sea-monster!
take the fool with thee. Alb. Pray, sir, be patient.
A fox, when one has caught ber, Lear. Detested kite! thou liest: [to Goneril.
And such a daughter, My train are men of choice and rarest parts,
Should sure to the slaughter, That all particulars of duty know ;
If my cap would buy a halter; And in the most exact regard support
So the fool follows after.
(erit. The worships of their name. O most small fault, Gon. This man hath had good counsel ;-A How ugly didst thou in Cordelia show!
hundred knights! Which, like an engine, wrench'd my frame of 'Tis politic, and safe, to let him keep (dream, nature
[love, At point, a hundred knights. Yes, that on every From the fix'd place: drew from my heart all Each buz, each fancy, each complaint, dislike, And added to the gall. O Lear, Lear, Lear! He may enguard his dotage with their powers, Beat at this gate, that let thy folly in,
And hold our lives in mercy.-- Oswald, I say?
(strikes his head. Alb. Well, you may fear too far. And thy dear judgment out!-Go, go my people.
Gon. Safer than trust : Alb. My lord, I am guiltless, as I am ignorant Let me still take away the harms I fear, of what hath moy'd you.
[hear! Nor fear still to be taken.
I know his heart: Lear. It may be so, my lord.—Hear, Nature, What he hath utter'd, I have writ my sister; Dear goddess, hear! Suspend thy purpose, if
If she sustain him and his hundred knights, Thou didst intend to make this creature fruitful, When I have show'd the unfitness,—How now, Into her womb convey sterility!
Oswald ? Dry up in her the organs of increase ;
Enter Steward. And from her derogate body never spring What, have you writ that letter to my sister? A babe to honour her! If she must teem,
Stew. Ay, madam.
[horse : Create her child of spleen ; that it may live;
Gon. Take you some company, and away to And be a thwart disnatur'd torment to her! Inform her full of my particular fear; Let it stamp wrinkles in her brow of youth ;
And thereto add such reasons of your own, With cadent tears fret channels in her checks ; As may compact it more.
Get you gone ; Turn all her mother's pains, and benefits, And hasten your return. [er. Stew.] No, no, my To laughter and contempt; that she may feel This milky gentleness, and course of yours, [lerd, How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is
Though I condemn it not, yet, under pardon, To have a thankless child !- Away, away! [cxit. You are much more attask'd for want of wisdom, Alb. Now, gods, that we adore, whereof comes Than prais'd for harmful mildness. this?
Alb. How far your eyes may pierce, I cannot Gon. Never a Mict yourself to know the cause; Striving to better, oft we mar what's well. (tell ; But let bis disposition have that scope
Gon. Nay, thenThat dotage gives it.
Alb. Well, well; the event.
Tereunt. Re-enter Lear. Lear. What, fifty of my followers, at a clap !
Enter Lear, Kent, and Fool Within a fortnight?
Lear. Go you before to Gloster with these let' Alb. What's the matter, sir ?
ters: acquaint my daughter no further with any Lear. I'll tell thee ;-Life and death! I am thing you know, than comes from her demand out asbam'd
of the letter : If your diligence be not speedy, I That thou hast power to shake my manhood thus: shall be there before you.
[to Goneril. Kent. I will not sleep, my lord, till I have do That these hot tears, wbich break from me perforce, livered your letter.
[erit. Should make thee worth them.-- Blasts and fogs Fool. If a man's brains were in his heels, were't
not in danger of kibes?
SCEYE Y COURT BEFORE THE SAME.